Sunshine in my kitchen: Apple slices with cream cheese dip

We got some organic Honeycrisp apples on sale at QFC for $0.99/lb! Joshua advised me to store them in the fridge. The fridge here is about 30% larger than our apartment's fridge was, so I have been enjoying getting to refrigerate "extra" stuff like that!

The super-cold, crisp, sweet apples were just amazing. I definitely should have bought more than 10 pounds. (What was I thinking? My children are little piggies!)

The easiest way to dress up fresh apple slices? Serve them with cream cheese apple dip. A quick 5 minutes is all it takes to make this dip, and it transforms regular old apples into a luxurious snack or dessert.

Cream cheese apple dip

Thank you all for the sweet comments on my last post! I am so blessed by your encouraging words and prayers on my behalf. I wish I could reply to each one, but, time will not allow that at the moment. Please KNOW that your words are a blessing to me, regardless!

Some of you have suggested I may be dealing with postpartum depression, SAD, or some other underlying issue. I hesitate to self-diagnose, but I also hesitate going to a medical doctor for a diagnosis. I have not been stuck in deep, deep despair, but feel more like I'm just... losing the struggle to fight against the current -- "the current" being my expectations PLUS the constant interruptions that children bring.

When I mentioned my perfectionist tendencies regarding blogging, I didn't mean that I want to try to be (or look like) a perfect person in my blog. My struggle is with feeling like a "good" blogger updates regularly with good content, and thus if I can scarcely manage one meager post each week, I am a failure as a blogger and if I'm going to fail then I may as well just quit! I know that's not right, and I know that attitude won't help me accomplish more OR feel better!

Sunshine, exercise, omega 3's, B-vitamin and iron supplements, fresh bananas and avocados, quality (and quantity!) time with my husband daily, and regular time in God's Word are some of the things helping to pull me along.

Cream cheese apple dip

And the blogging thing? Well! I truly have tons of photos and new recipes to share... but I think instead of expecting myself to have a perfectly-run blog where recipes are posted in-season and everything's just right, I'm giving myself permission to do things like... finally sharing my mom's pumpkin pie recipe even though Thanksgiving is over. :)

So... I'll be back tomorrow with the pumpkin pie recipe! :)


That looks soooooo good! Apples are pretty $$ here. :( And cream cheese, ha! that's an arm and a leg too. But yours looks so good! :) enjoy some for me.

blessings, Mrs. Luna!

I made this dip a few days ago and loved it. We eat apples alot and this was yet another way to dress them up. I love a good crisp apple. I understand where you are coming from with the blahs. I have a 2yr old and a 10mth old as well as a teenager. The little ones can really be demanding on a moms time, energy, and patience. Just take a deep breath and count to ten. Im glad to hear your little one is sleeping better, I may need to check into that book for myself. Well I am being very long winded so I will close with, I'm glad there is a ray of sunshine in the path ahead for you.

from age 27 to about 33 I think?I went through struggles like your saying.I went to the doctors and ran test all ok except for some hormonal imbalance.But that was normal the doctor explained having my children and age at the time.I felt blue's,tired,I wasn't doing thing as I should for my husband,house,kids,sad,crying at times.But I am so glad I had my husband to hug me each day and tell me how great of a mom,wife and Everything I was doing around the house was just "perfect for us".That right there got me through so much.Prayers to you and your family hun.I am not sure what your going through but I think It might be that struggle things and I think everyone goes through.I will be praying for you to get over your struggle-HUGS.

I'm wondering if your Vitamin D is low, especially due to your present location? I've read that living further north than Atlanta makes it extremely difficult to get enough D in the winter months, and given how much further north you are and how little sunshine your region gets, I would think it was quite possible? I've been taking cod liver oil (In caplets) for years and I've been so much healthier in every way. After just a few days, my husband noticed his joints felt better. :)

The other thing I would suggest is to ask God for a ministry that makes your heart sing. :) I had that blessing when my kids were young and it really encouraged me. Now that my children are grown, I can see how God encouraged them to have the heart of a servant through being a part of my special little ministry. Having something ELSE to do, instead of being a burden, helped me to be more purposeful in my daily routine, helped me to put aside things that weren't that important, and really gave me great joy. My husband was very blessed by all those things!

Organic local apples can be found at Terry's Berries in Puyallup on River Road (take the exit by the Emerald Queen Casino) for about $.99/lb in the fall and into the winter. In October they have apple picking and cider pressing days using a hand cranked cider press. You should look into that for a trip with your kids. Also, if you order through Azure Standard you can get a 20lb box of organic apples for $.99/lb in the fall and winter.

I love your blog! Your attitude towards God, your family and life in general is so refreshing to me. Thanks for being so 'real'. I'm glad you are starting to see some sunshine in your life again. Can't wait to see your pumpkin pie recipe!

What a yummy looking snack! I'll have to remember that, my children love to snack on apples. :)

(((hugs)))) praying for you my dear friend and I enjoy your blog whether you blog every day, once a week, or once a month! LOL :) I think you get the idea, blogging is an extra, family is first.~Tanya - mama to 6 treasures. :)

I also started having "issues" dealing with everyday things after the birth of my last child. I thought maybe I had postpartum depression, and felt I should be able to get through it on my own, but my symptoms kept worsening and I just felt overwhelmed all the time. I also had physical symptoms of weakness in my upper legs and arms, shortness of breath, shaky hands, extreme fatigue and headahces, almost daily. I finally went to the doctor after my husband told me he was legitimately concerned that there was something wrong with me. Turns out my thyroid was huge, its production was almost 5 times the normal, and I was suffering from Graves Disease. There was no way I could have known, and nothing I could have done to get better on my own. (After a little over a year on thyroid suppression meds, I finally went into remission, and we are expecting our third baby in April, so happy ending). I did not know at the time, but thyroid problems can be caused by, and sometimes masked by, pregnancy. I had never heard of it, but its pretty common. I always tell anyone who has the feeling that something is wrong, that it is not in their head, go to the doc and get checked out, its worth the peace of mind to know what's going on :)

Tammy, I would like to give you a great big hug : ) I don't know anything and don't have any answers. I just like you! You know, I live in the Pacific NW like you do (Portland) and after 8 years, I still struggle, badly, to accept the lack of sunshine. Sunshine or lack of really does make a difference in mood, especially if a person was not raised in this part of the country. I don't know if that is part of it, just remember ours is a God of compassion as you pull through this period of time.

~Catherine R.

Tammy, I know you are in the Pacific Northwest. Could it be a lack of sunlight. I know we live in East Tennessee where the sun in plentiful, but during the winter if we go for very long without sun I just feel like something is off. We had friends who moved to Idaho from here and they got one of those UV lights to help with the lack of sun. They said it helped.
Plus, I have been on antidepressants for a while due to a chemical imbalance. I fought with my doctor for the longest as I told him I had a wonderful life and had no reason to be depressed. He finally got it through to me that if there is a chemical imbalance, it does not matter how wonderful your life is. The antidepressant has been a life saver. But, to each his own.
I pray for your continued recovery and well being. Just remember, it will not be too long before spring. Still want to see photos of the new house.

As a special treat we add a half cup or more ;) bit o' brickle Heath bar chips. I had it at a baby shower once and it was very decadent and we use the Heath chips every Christmas season anyway. Your post was a delicious reminder to whip some up.

I sure have felt this way before! Hang in there. You're right, being in God's Word is huge. Quote some verses throughout the day (out loud even), that helps me a lot, especially when I'm feeling down or anxious.

An encouragement to you....even if you're not posting frequent blogs, I love to come to your blog and continually check out recipes. My husband, kids, and I love everything you make. Keep up the good work!

Thank you all for the encouragement, suggestions, advice, and sharing your stories with me. :) :)

I know salmon is a great source of Vitamin D, but just eating salmon once a week is probably not enough, especially in the winter! I plan to check into Vitamin D supplements soon, as that is one of the things I haven't tried yet. :)

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